Established in May 2006 to honor Dr. Robert Bond Welch, made possible by gifts from numerous donors

Born and raised in Maryland, ROBERT BOND WELCH, Med 1953, is the son of an Annapolis ophthalmologist and became a leader in that field in Maryland and internationally. Dr. Welch completed his pre-medical training at Princeton and obtained his MD degree from The Johns Hopkins University in 1953. He completed his internship and residency at the Wilmer Eye Institute. Over the next 40 years, Dr. Welch established himself as a leading figure in retinal care, clinical research, and training. At Wilmer, he co-directed the Wilmer Retina Service from 1959 to 1985, and he served as chairman of ophthalmology at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center from 1985 to 1991. He maintains a private practice in Baltimore and Annapolis. He has been active in the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Macula Society, the Retina Society, and the American Board of Ophthalmology. Studies of pars planitis, sickle cell hemoglobin C disease, and intraocular Toxacara Canis are some of Dr. Welch’s clinical research interests. He was also the developer of improved "scleral buckle" surgical techniques. To many, Dr. Welch is best known as a teacher; he is past-president of the Wilmer Residents Association and is a current member of the Wilmer Advisory Council. His love of history is well-known as he is the author of The Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute, 1925–2000. He is also a tireless advocate of Johns Hopkins, and was named a Distinguished Alumnus of The Johns Hopkins University in 2001.


JAMES T. HANDA, the Robert Bond Welch, M.D. Professor of Ophthalmology, joined the Wilmer Eye Institute in 2001. He specializes in medical and surgical management of vitreoretinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachment, as well as retinopathy of prematurity and other pediatric retinal diseases. Dr. Handa is well known for his expertise in intraocular oncology, including choroidal melanomas, metastatic tumors to the eye, and retinoblastoma. His research focuses on understanding early age-related macular degeneration using molecular pathological approaches and animal models to understand how the eye transforms from normal aging to early macular degeneration. In collaboration with Johns Hopkins engineers, Dr. Handa is also developing an integrated microsurgical platform for enhanced surgical performance, including a stereo-computer monitor and a steady-hand robot.